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Film still from WELFARE. Three elderly people are sitting in a waiting room.

Fri 13.05.

  • Director

    Frederick Wiseman

  • USA / 1975
    167 min. / 16 mm / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


  • Cinema

    Arsenal 1

    zu den Ticketszu dem Kalender

Frederick Wiseman's arguably best-known film WELFARE, about the New York welfare system, is both the conclusion and culmination of his early work. Between February and March 1973, Wiseman and his cameraman William Brayne observed numerous meetings between social workers and those seeking help, which were about unemployment, divorce, medical and psychiatric problems, and abuse. The healthcare system is depicted as a bureaucratic nightmare, people on all sides are overburdened and frustrated. The obstacles they have to overcome seem to be straight out of a Kafka novel. As Mr. Hirsch says in his legendary monologue: Or as one Mr. Hirsch paraphrases in a legendary monologue, "I've been waiting for the last 124 days, since I got out of the hospital. Waiting for something. Godot? You know what happened in the story of Godot? He never came." (hb)

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media